Clubs with small fitness center footprints (1,500 square feet and smaller) run the largest risk of wasting money on big-box athletic club equipment. While it is true that exercisers want cardio and functional movement strength equipment first, these machines take up a lot of space. If a club buys these machines first, then they are left with a large investment that can only service a few people at a time, and one that isn’t compatible with group activities, building clubs within clubs, and other amenities found at premier athletic clubs. A club can still satisfy members’ needs and yet allow room for growth into other service areas.
A machine that allows for multiple program uses, has a small footprint, and still attracts a crowd is a cable-crossover machine. There are many manufacturers of this all-in-one beast, and many price levels too (from under $2,000 to nearly $10,000 each). The Precor cable-crossover is called the FTS Glide and has a smaller footprint than most. The Nautilus model is called the Functional Trainer, and provides fewer options, but allows for bigger, stronger movements. The Technogym machine is called the Kinesis One. It takes up the most space, but also provides the most program options for group exercise including pilates, functional training, and golf-fitness.
It doesn’t stop here. Your choice of treadmill, pull-up bar, stretching devices, bands, and even dumbbells can affect the program options you have within your fitness center. See entry below (Multi-use equipment...) The answers to these questions are determined by your goals for your athletic program. What are you goals?